Probably for my entire life I have been doing everything in my power to be “in shape” and doing all that I can to be fit. I have had a gym membership at every gym you can think of, but at the end of the day the difference for me is nutrition.
Recently, the gym I go to decided to host a nutrition challenge. You give me a challenge; I will do everything in my power to win. It’s funny because I have been involved in a lot of weight loss competitions where I went to the extreme to lose weight (like losing 5 pounds over night through a nasty orange cleanse.) The great thing about this nutrition challenge was that it wasn’t about losing weight, but being healthy and learning healthier habits.
I had been going to the gym for two hours a day doing lots of cardio and weights to get in shape. For years that worked for me, but at some point you plateau and need something extra. At this point I decided that maybe I wasn’t working out enough and signed myself up for CrossFit. I picked CrossFit because I’m never doing the same thing and Men’s health talked about it, so it had to be legit.
The article in Men’s Health focused on the 10 Cardio Exercises that are Better than Running. I loved the article because beside the fact that CrossFit is such a good workout, more than half the workouts in the article are moves you do at CrossFit: burpees, rowing machine, kettlebell swings, etc. This made me want to try CrossFit because I wanted something different than basic cardio. I wanted to see results.
Three months pass and I wasn’t seeing any real change in size or weight. I know this because every week I measured and weighed myself at the same time every Monday with nothing. I started to get a little down like maybe it was CrossFit that was keeping the pounds on me. So when they decided to start a nutrition challenge I knew that I needed to jump on board because, like they say, “Abs are made in the kitchen!”
I loved this challenge because it wasn’t a competition in losing the most weight, but focused completely on specific tasks that I could check off and earn points each day. Each week I received a new list of tasks/healthy eating habits that needed to be done, in addition to what I had done before. I never felt like I was really restricting myself. I was replacing things with healthier items that I should really be doing all along anyway. The part that made the greatest instant impact was when I removed dairy completely from my diet. I am lactose intolerant, but I always felt like it varied in how much it affected my body. Turns out, when I cut that out of my diet I wasn’t as bloated and clothes were fitting so much better.
The nutrition challenge went on for four weeks and it was the perfect amount of time. This gave me enough time to see some changes, but also learn healthy habits in the process.
Turns out, this was all I needed because I saw major changes once I was done with the challenge: down 15 pounds, loss of five inches from my stomach and butt and I feel a billion times better. I had plenty of energy which shocked me because I was regularly eating candy and drinking soda before giving me energy throughout the day. Once I started the challenge though, I replaced soda with tons of ice water and candy and sweets with natural sugars, like fruit.
For years I was taking supplements, diets and different products to help me lose weight, and they worked. I mean, I lost a lot of weight doing the 17 Day Diet while taking supplements; 40 pounds to be exact. It was great, but it came right back and it came back quick. I wanted to do it differently and reasonably this time because I really wanted to keep the weight off. Even though I feel like I look the same, the numbers are definitely showing different. I just need to keep this lifestyle up and then the results will come.
Thankfully the nutrition challenge taught me the smart things I need to be doing. I am happy of my results and look forward to continuing the process of eating healthier and working out. It’s funny though, you always hear that weight loss is 80% what you eat and 20% what you do and I am living proof! I will keep you posted on how I do and let me know what has been working for you and lets get healthy together.